What Will Masks & Social Distancing Look Like For Outdoor Pools?

April 12, 2021

CA is currently taking new state and county guidelines on outdoor mask mandates under consideration and will update this information accordingly.

We appreciate your patience as we figure out the best way to serve you this summer!


Summer is the sweetest time of all in Columbia. This year, we’re excited to open 15 neighborhood pools and see everyone enjoying themselves in the water again after a tough year. 

That being said, your outdoor pool experience will look a bit different this year — so we’re doing our best to communicate these changes ahead of time to prepare for a smooth kick-off. 

In this blog post, we’ll cover the question on everyone’s minds: What will masks and social distancing look like for CA’s outdoor pools?


2021 Outdoor Pool Masks Policy

Before we dive into the new policy, CA Aquatics Director Marty Oltmanns wants to clarify that we’re in a rapidly evolving situation. 

“CA will continue to evaluate our policies throughout the summer as conditions and local regulations change,” he said. “Our team is working hard every day to finalize the details, but the rules are constantly changing.”

So while nothing is locked in stone, here’s where we’re at as of now:

  • In alignment with CDC guidance, fully vaccinated individuals have the option to remove their masks at CA’s outdoor pools at any time. 
  • Anyone who is not fully vaccinated will still need to wear a mask on pool grounds when they can’t maintain at least six feet of distance from other non-household individuals..
  • Face coverings are not permitted while swimming. However, masks must be worn by anyone who is not fully vaccinated in wading pools by adult supervisors when unable to consistently maintain at least six feet of distance from other non-household individuals while supervising children in the wading pool.

You may notice this policy differs from CA’s indoor swimming rules, where your mask is the last thing that comes off before getting in the pool and the first thing that comes on when you get out. CA’s indoor pools also continue to stay ahead of evolving regulations, and according to Swim Center Operational Manager Emma Alderson, the goal is “to keep things as safe and normal as possible.”

“We’re a tight-knit community. The Swim Center is like a second home to so many, and everyone has done a great job of being respectful and staying safe,” she said. “I have no doubt that this outdoor pool season will be similarly successful and fun!” 


More to Come

We know there are a lot more questions to answer about the upcoming pool season, so leading up to Memorial Day weekend, we’ll be posting more in-depth information about what to expect at your outdoor pool. Also sign up for the CA Swim newsletter and follow CA Swim on Facebook and Twitter. Those will be the best ways to get the latest information on everything pools related.

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